The loss of Morgan Gibbs-White for this Sheffield United team at Barnsley is a big one, following his sending off against Millwall in midweek at Bramall Lane.
Gibbs-White was shown red after being given a second booking for going down too easily in the Millwall box. It came after a rash challenge in the opening 45 minutes had seen him cautioned.
He will now miss tomorrow’s clash at Oakwell, and the decision on who to replace him is a big one for Blades boss, Slavisa Jokanovic. Indeed, the United coach has admitted it is something he must decide on and get right.
But will it just be a straight swap for another squad player? Or could Jokanovic look to change the shape? We’ve taken a look at the options here.
Ndiaye to the right, McBurnie to come in
This seems like the most natural change to make. McBurnie is pushing to play anyway in fairness, even though Billy Sharp continued his fine form with a penalty in midweek.
Ndiaye has to play. He made a huge difference when he came on against Millwall and he could well be shifted to the right to allow McBurnie to play off Sharp.
David McGoldrick blew his big chance on Tuesday. Someone else, then, should be given their chance among the front four.
Brewster into the fold?
Rhian Brewster has been left out of late, with a place in the squad not even offered up to the former Liverpool striker. However, Jokanovic has backed his man, and he did pick him in a similar role away at Hull.
In fairness, Brewster did well that day. So it wouldn’t be the strangest call to see the youngster included from the off here.
He has goals in him, he just needs to find his feet. Could a Yorkshire derby be his big chance to shine? Time will tell. But it’s certainly an option for Jokanovic.
Change of Shape
The other obvious call Jokanovic could make is to go back to the 3-5-2 that this squad is so used to playing. George Baldock is back, so he could slot in at right wing-back, with Enda to the left.
A back three of Davies, Egan, and Basham would work, with Norwood and Fleck positioned behind Iliman Ndiaye in the number ten role. Up top, Sharp could then have a partner. There, Jokanovic could go with McBurnie, Mousset, Didzy, or Brewster if he fancied it.
While the Serbian seems set on this 4-2-3-1 formation, a move back to the wing-back formation which served us so well under Chris Wilder might be the way forward for this one.